Despite that fact that none of her family beside her mother, Doria Ragland, was present in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, Markle gave the stuffy Brits more than a little bit of flavor straight from the darker nation of its most successful colony, mostly in the very deliberate choices she made on her stunning wedding day.
So if you didn’t know she was black before, now you do. I mean, she was 15 minutes late, OK?
Here are the five blackest parts of the royal wedding of Harry and Meghan, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
1. The Most Rev. Michael Curry: We all knew beforehand that not only was there going to be a black preacher speaking, but he was going to be African American. And as anyone who has been to a black church knows, you can’t give a black preacher a mic and expect that he’ll only say a few words. Bishop Curry, who was born and raised in Chicago and then lived in Buffalo, N.Y., spoke on the “power of love,” touched on slavery, demanded call-and-response, and invoked the great name of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. right to the literal colonizers of the world in his sermon (’cause that was a sermon). You know it was really a black preacher when he said he was wrapping up … but then went on for a while (as many, including Prince Charles and the royal couple themselves, smiled). As Twitter noted, Curry gave his sermon to the world, and not just the royal couple. And it was right on time.
2. Karen Gibson and the Kingdom Choir: That gospel choir, which sang “Stand by Me” during the ceremony, took us to chuuuurch. That was fine, but they really shone as the newly married couple exited the church to choruses of “Amen.” “Ayyyye-men, aye-men, aye-men” (which is how my favorite church services end). The gospel singers then went into a rousing rendition of the tried-and-true Negro spiritual “This Little Light of Mine.” In addition, there were yells of “Yiyiyiyiyiyiyi” after the couple exited the church, proving that Africa was indeed in the house (or outside, in this case).
3. Sheku Kanneh-Mason: The young black cellist was reportedly handpicked and called personally by Markle. The adorable 19-year-old with the perfectly cut Afro grew up in Nottingham, England, and began playing the cello when he was just 6. Two years ago, he won the BBC Young Musician of the Year, the first black musician to win since the award’s launch in 1978. Kanneh-Mason gave us beautiful renditions of “Sicilienne,” by Maria Theresia von Paradis; “Après un Reve,” by Gabriel Fauré; and “Ave Maria,” by Franz Schubert.
4. More than zero black celebrities: There were at least five black celebrities present, probably the most star power at a royal wedding ever. I mean, sure, David and Victoria Beckham are always on the scene, but this wedding had the likes of Oprah Winfrey (who was swaying during the preaching part, of course); Idris Elba and his fiancee, Sabrina Dhowre; Serena Williams; and Markle’s Suits co-star Gina Torres, ex-wife of Laurence Fishburne. Did we miss any?
5. The horse: The name of one of the horses carrying Prince Harry and Markle was Tyrone. Coincidence? I think not.
No, there probably won’t be an Electric Slide or Wobble during the wedding reception, but it’s quite clear that these two will not be shying away from seasoning the pasty whiteness that the British aristocracy is known for.
They’ve already been to Africa twice during their courtship and most likely will be honeymooning on the great continent that birthed us all.
So, congrats to the royal couple, and we can’t wait for some brown babies to teach the queen the Nae Nae. In sum:
Editor’s note: A previous version of this post stated that the choir sang “Lean on Me.” It sang “Stand by Me.”